Prince Harry publicly addressed the death of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II for the first time in a personal statement Monday that paid tribute to her as both a monarch and matriarch of the family.
“In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen — and in mourning her loss — we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty. She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy.”
He recalled the words that the Queen said in her final Christmas speech on Dec. 25, 2021, about the death of her beloved husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: “Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.”
“Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings — from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren. I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.”
Referencing the Queen’s speech again, he said, “And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III.
“Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile. We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”
Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, happened to be in the UK for a charity event when the news of the Queen’s ill health was made public on Thursday. She then died, and he arrived at Balmoral Castle in Scotland after the announcement.
The duke has spoken in the past about his close relationship with his late grandmother. In an interview with NBC News in April, he talked about seeing the Queen for the first time after the two years he spent living in the US and Canada.
“We have a really special relationship. We talk about things she can’t talk about with anybody else,” he said. “Being with her, it was great. It was just so nice to see her, she’s on great form. We always — she’s always got a great sense of humor with me, and I’m just making sure that she’s protected and has got the right people around her.”